The ribs of the boat - frames and biti

If a keel is the spine of a boat, than the frames are the ribs which sit across the keel. Frames stiffen the hull transversely and ensure that the boat maintains the correct form.

A frame is composed of several elements. At the bottom lie the floor timbers and extending from here to the top edge of the planks sit the futtocks, as a rule with one on each side. Sometimes, a biti (crossbeam) is also positioned transversely and secured against the face of the planks using a knee.

When boatbuilders have to find the material for a floor timber or a knee in the forest, it is vital that the piece of timber has the same profile as the section of the boat where it is intended to sit. In this way, the finished element is as strong as possible because it follows the same direction as the tree’s growth and therefore also the tree’s fibres.